Sad to report that our cat, Nelson, passed away sometime this afternoon at the young age of 4 years and 5 days.
What happened exactly is a mystery. This morning he was fine and through the day nothing seemed untoward. No strange behavior or funny noises. I was home most of the day as I’m sick and whilst I wasn’t paying attention to his every move, or lack of moves, I did get suspicious when I brought Zosia home from school about 15:30. He had been sleeping in the same spot for a long time and I even quipped to Zosia that “I think Nelson must be dead, he’s been sleeping for so long.”. Zosia, as usual, went over to say hello to him and then said “He is!”. Followed by a certain amount of hysteria, obviously.
He was laying in a very peaceful and relaxed way, exactly as if he was asleep except he really was dead, and quite stiff. Apparently rigor mortis comes on quite early in cats (1-4 hours) so we can only assume he passed away in his sleep, of perhaps a heart attack, sometime in the early afternoon.
He did have an unusual thing with his eyes sometimes where they would be darting quickly from side to side. The vet noticed it on a visit some time ago and seemed concerned but aside from the eye movement there were no other symptoms to indicate any problem. He was very active, could see extremely well and was in every respect a healthy cat. With the benefit of sad hindsight it might be there was an underlying neurological problem there but we’re all just speculating. The main thing is that his death appears to have been quick and as peaceful as death can be, which will be nice to remember.
He was a really great cat, a big strong handsome boy who enjoyed our company and was extremely well behaved both with us and while we were away. He always had a lot to say for himself and we had developed a way of talking by mimicking his “wa wa” noises that he actually seemed to understand. He will be greatly missed by us all but especially by Marta who was his biggest fan.
I took him to the vet who will dispose of him properly. She also could see no obvious reasons why he died.
We now search for Polish cat number five to follow in the footsteps of Kacper, Tygrys, Winston and Nelson. Although pedigree cats tend to die younger than mixed breed, it seems we don’t have much luck with cats and if I were a kitten and saw us coming I’d run a mile!
Bye Nelson, sleep well.